Jonathan Van-Tam Rips Off His Shirt And Tie On The BBC...And Becomes An Accidental Partridge Victim

·3-min read
Jonathan Van-Tam showed the public a different side during a rather unusual BBC Four lecture (Photo: BBC Four)
Jonathan Van-Tam showed the public a different side during a rather unusual BBC Four lecture (Photo: BBC Four)

Jonathan Van-Tam went full Alan Partridge on Tuesday night while opening a lecture about viruses.

Speaking during one of the Royal Institute’s Christmas Lectures, the UK’s deputy chief medical officer signalled that he was stepping away from his usual position as a government adviser for the evening with a rather unusual stunt.

JVT, as he is known, began: “Many of you may have seen me giving public health announcements from the podium at No.10 Downing Street.”

″But tonight is different!”

And with that, he pulled off his shirt and tie (to reveal another shirt underneath) under a cloud of smoke.

After a short pause – where the camera zoomed in on the emotionless, silent crowd – he stepped towards the audience and explained: “Tonight I am speaking to you as a scientist and a doctor not a government adviser.”

Then, swiftly pointing at the camera, he said: “Tonight – we’re going viral!”

JVT on BBC Four for the Royal Institute's Christmas lectures (Photo: BBC Four)
JVT on BBC Four for the Royal Institute's Christmas lectures (Photo: BBC Four)

And while he may not have been a hit with the audience, it seems JVT certainly made an impression among his online fans with his move away from serious Covid coverage.

He’s not the only public figure to accidentally replicate Steve Coogan’s satirical character – Alan Partridge, an inept, tone-deaf broadcaster.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock made a similar blunder when he released a video greeting his constitutents, although he did later deleted it.

Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley has also drawn regular comparisons with Partridge during his on air interviews, but he has since addressed the criticism.

He told the Metro: “I honestly don’t care at all. I think it’s quite funny. It’s part and parcel of doing the job that I do.

“I think some of the quotes are often made up to be honest with you, or they’re taken so ludicrously out of context, but I look at it sometimes and I think, ‘Oh that’s a bit unfair.’

“But I don’t mind, it’s all part and parcel of what I do. It’s fine.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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